XYZ~An Undeclared War


During this challenge I have not had that much of a problem finding something to write about for the letters of the alphabet. However, when you get to the last part of the challenge it becomes challenging. Needless to say there is not much in the way of words starting with “X”. There were a couple of things in “The Encyclopedia Britannica” that peaked my interest.

Onto the  actual article!

The XYZ was an undeclared war that happened in 1797 and into 1798. The controversial exchange of diplomatic proposals was between France, and the United States.  The result of this confrontation between France, and the United States was due to strained relations between the nations. Furthermore, they were demanding outrageous amounts of money from France during the XYZ affair. In the midst of the XYZ affair that let the United States, and France to fight at sea even though war was never declared during this time.

The XYZ affair was developing during the war with France and Great Britain. During this time the British captured many of the French ships during the war, which led the French to rely on the American ships to keep trades going between the France, and the United States. In 1796, the “British Jay Treaty” went into effect and this made the French enraged at the United States.  Moreover, the “British Jay Treaty” was a failure because Americans could no longer trade with France. Therefore, the French would seize the American Ships and their cargoes.

During the Adams administration he had appointed two political leaders to join Charles Cotesworth Pinckney to settle the dispute between France, and the United States. he was involved in negotiations that ended in the XYZ Affair (Pinckney, 2008). The two political leaders were John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry. Furthermore, the three agents explained to the Americans that before they could be seen by Talleyrand that they would have to pay him a bribe of $250,000 dollars, an apology for pro-British policies, and acquire a loan of $12 million dollars from France.  He was forced to resign briefly for involvement in bribery scandals, including the XYZ Affair (Talleyrand, 2008).  This war was later called the “Quasi War” and the three diplomats were known as XYZ during John Adams administration. The Convention of 1800 ended a period of undeclared naval warfare between the U.S. and France (XYZ Affair, 2008).

It is interesting what you learn about history.


XYZ Affair. (2008). . Britannica Ready Reference.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth. (2008). . Britannica Ready Reference.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Gerry, Elbridge. (2008). . Britannica Ready Reference.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.

Talleyrand (-Périgord), Charles-Maurice de. (2008). . Britannica Ready Reference.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica